NHIA: Reps seek health coverage for vulnerable Nigerians

Elizabeth AtimeOctober 4, 20232 min

The Motion Sponsor argued that the health care crisis in Nigeria cannot be resolved without Universal health coverage, which cannot be achieved without meeting the target of National Health Insurance.

 

The House of Representatives has called on President Bola Tinubu to allocate part of the fuel subsidy removal savings to funding the health of vulnerable Nigerians.

The House also urged the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to ensure implementation and monitoring.

The call was contained in a motion to “Call on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to cover Vulnerable Nigerians” brought by Rep. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu (APC, Lagos).

Dawodu in his debate, noted that social economic development is not achievable without access to quality and affordable health care.

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He also noted that the World Health Assembly in 2005, adopted Universal Health coverage as part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) Agenda 2030.

The lawmaker regretted that after 23 years, only 5 Million Nigerians have enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) while over 70% percent of Nigerians pay out of pocket for health care.

According to him, over 83 Million vulnerable populations comprising pregnant women, children under five years, persons with special needs, and the elderly are most affected, thus Nigeria is unable to meet the targets of universal coverage, thus increasing the rate of out-of-pocket health expenditure.

He also stated that the healthcare crisis cannot be resolved without Universal Health care coverage which cannot be achieved without meeting the target of the National Health Insurance.

“The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act of 2022 mandates Health Insurance for all citizens and legal residents which has failed.

“In 2022 NNPC spent N4 trillion ($9.7B) on fuel subsidy and N3.6 trillion in 6 months of 2023. It costs about 5 Billion to cover 5 Million persons annually at the rate of NI5,000 per person.”

In adopting the motion, the House resolved to mandate the Committees on Health Institutions and Finance to ensure compliance.

 

 

Elizabeth Atime

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